Today, every business needs a website if it wants to be found easily by its customers. When creating a website for your business, one of the most important things you need to do is to pick the right web host.
Your web host has a huge influence on the success of your business. If you pick the wrong webhost, you’ll have lots of headaches to deal with – site downtime, slow speeds, data breaches, poor search engine optimisation (SEO), you name it. These issues can be very costly for your business.
To make matters worse, moving from one host to another is a complicated matter, and can result in reduced conversions on your site.
So, question is, with dozens of good web host services to choose from, how do you determine the right one?
Below, let’s check out 8 hosting metrics that you need to look at when choosing a web host.
You probably know that speed is one of the factors that affects your site’s SEO. A site with fast load times will be given greater priority by Google over sites with slow load times.
In addition, load speed affects your site conversion rate. The longer your site takes to load, the higher the bounce rate. Page load times of 1 – 3 seconds increase the chances of bounce by 32%, while a 5 second load time increases chances of a bounce by 90%.
Therefore, when choosing a web host, you need to ensure that they offer great load speed.
Imagine running a Facebook campaign to drive traffic to your website, only for people to click through and find your site unavailable. All the conversions you’d have made from all that traffic get lost simply because your site was down.
Uptime refers to the amount of time within a billing period that your website is accessible. Poor uptime can be very costly for your business.
For instance, a downtime of just 30 minutes on Amazon in 2013 led to a revenue loss of about $66,240 per minute.
To make matters worse, if Google notices that your site is down every now and then, they’ll push it further down the search engine results pages, which translates to reduced traffic for your site.
To avoid all this, you should make sure that your chosen web host offers reliable uptime. As a rule of thumb, don’t go for any web host that doesn’t guarantee you 99.5% uptime. If you can afford it, and without compromising on other factors, go for a web host that guarantees 99.9% uptime.
Bandwidth measures the amount of data that can be downloaded or uploaded from your site at a time. High bandwidth means that more people can access your site at the same time without the site crashing.
Therefore, when choosing your web host, you should go for one that offers more bandwidth. If you can afford it, you should go for unlimited bandwidth. This is especially important if you expect lots of traffic on your site.
4. Monthly Traffic
A lot of people are not aware about this, but some web hosting providers limit the number of people that can visit your site within a month. Once this number is reached, the web host charges you an additional fee. In some cases, the web host might take your site offline once this limit is reached.
To avoid these extra fees or unplanned downtime, you should carefully review your chosen web host and ensure that they do not have monthly traffic limits.
5. Available Storage
Storage space refers to the amount of disk space allocated to your website within a server. This is the disk space where your website files are stored.
For the average user, the storage space offered by most web hosting companies is usually more than enough. If you have a media-rich website, however, you might want more storage space than the ordinary user.
Therefore, if you are building a website that will contain lots of images, documents, or flash files, you should go for a web host that offers more disk space. Depending on your budget, you can even get some plans offering unlimited disk space.
When you’re just starting out, it makes sense to pay for an affordable hosting plan that supports modest levels of traffic and offers just the basic features. With time, however, as you scale your business, it might get to a point where the starter plan is no longer enough, requiring you to upgrade to a more advanced plan.
At this point, you have two options. You could either find another host, or find a better plan with your current host.
Moving to a different web host is a bit complicated and can affect your site’s traffic and conversions. Therefore, it is more prudent to pick a website that allows you to upgrade your hosting plan without the need to switch to a different provider.
In particular, you should pick a web host that offers different hosting products, including shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated server hosting.
You can start with shared hosting when your site is still small and then advance to VPS hosting as your site demands grow.
Once your site gets big enough, with tons of traffic and the need for greater control, you can then upgrade to dedicated server hosting, without having to change your web host.
If your web host doesn’t offer these different options, you will have no other choice but to move to a different web host once your site exceeds the capabilities of your current plan.
7. The Sign Up Vs Renewal Price
Most web hosts offer very amazing deals to entice those who are hosting a website with them for the first time. What many first timers do not know is that these are not the regular prices. Once it’s time to renew, you are going to pay a higher price than you paid initially.
While there is nothing wrong with web hosts having a higher renewal price than the sign up price, you should go for web hosts whose price jump is reasonable.
If possible, opt for web hosts with a price jump of 100% of less. This means that if you signed up at a price of $5/month, then the renewal price should be $10/month at most.
It’s also good to note that most web hosts do not display this information very prominently on their websites. However, you can always find this information in their Terms of Service page.
8. Positive Customer Reviews
One of the best ways of determining the quality of a product is to talk to those who have used the product.
Therefore, when evaluating web hosts, scour the internet and look for reviews from people who have hosted their websites with this particular web host. Pay particular attention to reviews about the web host’s network reliability, and the quality of their customer service.
If you find lots of negative reviews and very few positive reviews, this is a sign that you should keep away from that particular web host.
Your web host has a huge impact on the performance of your website, and therefore, it is very important to make sure that you host your website with the right web host.
In this article, we have covered 8 metrics that you need to look at when choosing a web host for your website. Here’s a recap of the metrics that you should look at:
- Monthly traffic
- Available storage
- The sign up vs renewal price
- Positive customer reviews
It’s also good to note that sometimes, you might have to compromise on one or two factors, depending on the needs of your website.
For instance, if a web host offers great load speeds, reliable uptime and unlimited bandwidth, it might be a good idea to pick them even if their renewal price is slightly higher than you expected.